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Thursday, July 13, 2017

Friday, July 14, 2017

BASTILE DAY

1 Maccabees, Chapter 10, Verse 8
They were struck with fear when they heard that the king had given him authority to gather an army.

The, they, in this verse were the Hellenized Jews who were losing their power which came from supporting Greece (King Demetrius). At once they were afraid for their lives realizing that their power over Jonathan was gone they decided to leave Jerusalem. Along comes Alexander Balas who claims to be the son of Antiochus and the rightful king, he has the backing of Rome. Jonathan plays these two opponents against each other to make Jerusalem great again. Jonathan then accepts from Alexander permission to become high priest which he accepts. There is just one problem; he is not a Levi, only Levis can be priests. Here is high stakes politicking.

Bastille Day[1]

Today, July 14, is Bastille Day, the commemoration of the revolution that brought down France’s Ancien RĂ©gime and led to the establishment of a new order that promised to totally refashion society. Unlike the American Revolution, which was fought to conserve rights and maintain political order, the French Revolution destroyed the fabric of French society. No aspect of human life was untouched. The Committee of Public Safety – influenced by Rousseau – claimed that to convert the oppressed French nation to democracy, “you must entirely refashion a people whom you wish to make free, destroy its’ prejudices, alter its habits, limit its necessities, root up its vices, purify its desires.” To achieve this end, the new rational state, whose primary ideological plank was that the sovereignty of “the people” is unlimited, attempted to eliminate French traditions, norms, and religious beliefs. The revolutionary governing bodies were particularly determined to destroy every vestige of the Roman Catholic Church because France was hailed by Rome as the Church’s “eldest daughter” and the monarch had dedicated “our person, our state, our crown and our subjects” to the Blessed Virgin. The Constituent Assembly began the campaign against the Church by stating in the Declaration of the Rights of Man, “no body or individual may exercise any authority which does not proceed directly from the nation.” In other words the Church could no longer have any say in public matters. The secular state would now have the final word over every aspect of human and social life. Next, the government abrogated the 1516 Concordat that defined France’s relationship with the Vicar of Christ. Financial and diplomatic relations with the papacy ceased. In the name of freedom, all monastic vows were suspended and in February 1790, legislation was approved to suppress the monasteries and confiscate their properties. The Civil Constitution of the Clergy, passed on July 12, 1790, decreed that the priesthood was a civil body and all bishops and priests were to be selected by the people and paid by the state.

·         The pope was to have no say in the matter.
·         In addition, clerics had to swear an oath of loyalty to the French Constitution. Dissidents had to resign their ministries and many were prosecuted as criminals.
·         Lay Catholics loyal to the pope were treated as rebels and traitors. With only four out of 135 bishops taking the oath in 1791, the more radical Legislative Assembly ordered additional sanctions against the Church.
·         All religious congregations were suppressed and wearing clerical garb was forbidden.
·         Priests loyal to the papacy were automatically guilty of “fanaticism” and sentenced to ten years imprisonment.
·         Processions were forbidden; crucifixes and religious artifacts were stripped out of churches.
·         Government priests were granted freedom to marry, divorce was permissible, and marriage became a civil procedure.
·         Also, education, managed for centuries by the Church, was nationalized. To further de-Christianize France, a new civil religion was introduced – patriotism.
·         The Gregorian calendar was eliminated and replaced with names related to nature. To abolish Sunday worship, months were rearranged to contain three “weeks” of ten days apiece, thus designating every tenth day for rest.
·         Catholic holy days were replaced with national holidays and civic days of worship. The “Cult of Great Men” (i.e., Rousseau) replaced the veneration of saints. The use of the word “saint” was forbidden. “There should be no more public and national worship but that of Liberty and Holy Equality,” declared the revolutionary government.
·         Every city and village was ordered to erect an “altar to the fatherland” and to conduct July “Federation Month” patriotic rites.
·         The Feast of Nature was observed in August and the Cult of Reason was celebrated at Paris’ Civic Temple, formerly the Cathedral of Notre Dame. A female dancer was crowned as the Goddess of Reason and performed for the assembly. In 1794, the deistic cult of the Supreme Being replaced the atheistic adoration of reason. At the first public worship, the self-declared high priest, Robespierre, pronounced in his homily, “the idea of the Supreme Being and the soul’s immortality is a continuous summons to justice and consequently social and republican.”
·         Despite all the efforts of the missionaries of terror, the Church was not stamped out of existence. The heroism of the thousands of martyred bishops, priests, and religious inspired millions of the faithful and caused a spiritual renascence in France during the nineteenth century. The notorious political rogue and excommunicated bishop of Autun, the Prince de Talleyrand, reviewing that terrible period of persecution, conceded, “Regardless of my own part in this affair, I readily admit that the Civil Constitution of the Clergy . . . was perhaps the greatest political mistake of the Assembly, quite apart from the dreadful crimes which flowed there from.”  General of the Republic, Henri Clarke, agreed. In a report to the government in 1796, he wrote, “Our revolution, so far as religion is concerned, has proved a complete failure.
·         France has become once more Roman Catholic, and we may be on the point of needing the pope himself in order to enlist clerical support for the Revolution.” The French ideologues learned, as did their barbaric heirs in the twentieth century, that every effort to destroy the Church and eliminate the faithful fails. As Christ Himself promised: “the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

Bastille Day-the other story[2]

Bastille Day marks the anniversary of the attacks on the French prison of Bastille, a symbol of King Louis XVI's power. On, July 14, 1789, a group of Parisian revolutionaries attacked the Bastille looking for gun powder to go with the rifles they had recently stolen from the Invalides. The revolutionaries stormed the prison, defeating the soldiers and bringing victory to the common people of France. This event marked the beginning of the French Revolution, the defeat of a monarchy and the birth of a republic as King Louis XVI was beheaded by use of a guillotine on July 21, 1793 in front of a crowd of Parisians. The anniversary of this attack is now the French National holiday and is observed on July 14th each year.

Bastille Day Facts & Quotes

·         The theme for Bastille Day in Paris for 2015 was Paris welcomes the world
·         The French Revolution was brought about partially due to the unequal class system found in France during the late 1700s.  The Catholic clergy held the highest position, next came Louis XVI and his court, and lastly were the general population.  Without the benefit of being born into a higher class, the general population had almost no hope of ever bettering their station in life.
·         Louis XVI's spending at Versailles and his financial support of the American Revolutionary War against the British, placed France in severe economic crisis.  The general population was starving while King Louis XVI was building a great navy and continuing his lavish lifestyle in Versailles.
·         The French flag consists of blue, white and red. White was the color of the Monarchy and red and blue represented Paris. During the Revolution, the white was surrounded by blue and then red.
·         A revolution can be neither made nor stopped. The only thing that can be done is for one of several of its children to give it a direction by dint of victories. - Napoleon Bonaparte

Bastille Day Top Events and Things to Do

·         Watch the Fireworks at the Eiffel Tower. They usually start around 11pm and can be viewed from the Champs de Mars and Trocadero.
·         Attend a French military parade.
·         Visit a French national museum as most are free to visit on Bastille Day or visit a local firehouse in France - they are open to the public on this holiday.
·         Watch a movie or a documentary about the French Revolution. Our picks: The French Revolution(2005), Jefferson in Paris (1995), Marie Antoinette (2006), Danton (1983) and That Night in Varennes (1982)
·         Go out to a French Restaurant.  Many have specials for this day.

Fitness Friday

Recognizing that God the Father created man on Friday the 6th day I propose in this blog to have an entry that shares on how to recreate and renew yourself in strength; mind, soul and heart.


Daily Devotions/Prayers
·         Drops of Christ’s Blood


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